Untouched by Light is a new sparkling wine produced by the Slovenian winery Radgonske Gorice. The name of the wine is unusual; however, it is inspired by the production process. It is the first sparkling wine which is developed in absolute darkness; from harvest to bottling in opaque black glass bottles. Until now, no one has ever produced a wine like this.
The idea of creating this sparkling wine in the dark arises from an old study from 1989. It was done by the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (you can read it here). The study concluded that light rays could damage the aroma and the taste of the wines. This happens because ultraviolet rays break down the riboflavin of the wine and cause photo-oxidation, the formation of methanethiol, methyl sulphide and hydrogen sulphide.
Therefore, the Radgonske Gorice winery came up with a solution on how to make a wine that never sees the light of day. To achieve this the harvest is done on moonless nights with the help of night vision goggles. The subsequent handling, bottle rotation, packaging, etc. are also carried out in the dark. The winery uses the Traditional method (Champenoise) to carry out the second fermentation in the bottle. At the end of the process, the wine is rebottled in black bottles before a final maturation of three years.
The winery will only produce 2000 bottles of Untouched by Light made with Chardonnay grapes which will be ready in 2020. The wine is presented in a black aluminium bag to further ensure the “untouched by light” guarantee. However, for now, we are still left to wonder whether this is a marketing ploy or if this peculiar elaboration will really shine at the tasting.
If this wine has caught your interest, you can reserve your Untouched by Light on the official website.
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